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March 20, 2005
Burnham Lifeboat called out as jet ski sinks in cold sea water

The crew of the Elsie Francis II, Burnham-On-Sea RNLI's D-Class lifeboat, were called out at 14:37 hours on Sunday 20th March to rescue the young female rider of a jet ski in difficulties, in the sea, near the Burnham lighthouse.

The jet ski, whilst cruising in company with another, suffered an acute engine failure, and was in danger of sinking.

It had already begun taking water onboard when the alarm was raised - and the Coastguard then called on the RNLI to help.

Large crowds of onlookers gathered along the seafront to watch the incident unfold, as shown in our photo here.

The girl, 14-year-old Rebecca Hill from Bristol, had been jet skiing with her father.

He said: "The jet ski just died on me and quickly began to take on water. It was half under when we raised the alarm.

"We tried swimming a little way but found the water was so incredibly cold."

The lifeboat crew ferried the jet skier to safety, and stood by whilst another jet ski rider towed the faulty ski back to Burnham-On-Sea Jetty.

Burnham's Coastguard team was on hand to comfort the girl and provide her with a warm towel, as pictured right.

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard officer Neil Mynett said: "This was a routine rescue, efficiently carried out by the RNLI lifeboat crew."


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